This is a pellet of alprostadil (the same substance as used in the injections) that is placed into the urethra (water pipe) using a small applicator. The pellet is about the same size as a grain of rice. Once inserted it takes 20minutes for it to dissolve and the erection to start. It is extremely easy to use but is less successful than the injections because much less of the chemical actually ends up in the erectile tissue of the penis. It probably works in about 30% of men. The applicator must be stored in the fridge as the pellet slowly melts at room temperature.
It is associated with penile discomfort, which can be troublesome in 30% of men lasting 2-3 hours – although it is not harmful.
It can cause light-headedness, dizziness and occasionally palpitations.
It should not be used in patients with certain types of severe heart problems